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Research Direction

  • How much direction do you expect from your supervisor?
  • How much direction does your supervisor expect to exert over your research? 

Knowledge and Skills

  • Would you rather find things out on your own, or would you prefer to be taught by your supervisor?
  • How do you prefer to learn – for example by yourself, with other people, by going on courses? How does your supervisor prefer to help you develop your skills?
  • Which skills do you have and which skills does your supervisor expect you to have?

Time Management and Meetings

  • How often do you expect to meet with your supervisor?
  • How much does s/he expect from you?

Feedback and Constructive Criticism

  • How often do you expect input or feedback from your supervisor?
  • What are your supervisor’s expectations?

Turnaround Times

  • How quickly do you expect your supervisor to provide feedback on work that you have submitted for review?
  • How quickly does your supervisor anticipate being able to provide feedback?

Communication between Meetings

  • Does your supervisor prefer to communicate by telephone or e-mail?
  • How quickly do you expect a response to an email or phone message? 

Expectations for Written Work

  • Does your supervisor expect to receive your work all at once, or in smaller chunks?
  • Does s/he expect drafts to be "works in progress" or fairly polished pieces almost ready for publication?
  • At what intervals does your supervisor expect you to submit work?
  • Would your supervisor prefer to receive documents in hard copy, or electronically?


Adapted from McGill University

Research Supervision @ Oxford